Little Rock Nine Member Talks About Desegregation, Mental Health In Galesburg

By Madelyn Beck

Knox College, in Western Illinois, honored a civil rights icon with a doctorate degree during its convocation in September. Elizabeth Eckford was one of the Little Rock Nine, the nine black students who faced extreme racism as they tried to desegregate a white high school in Arkansas in 1957. Eckford attended Knox for a year until it became too expensive, but she said it left an impact.

Reporter Madelyn Beck talked with her before the ceremony.

Eckford spoke later that day in Galesburg about her new book called The Worst First Day: Bullied While Desegregating Central High. It’s the first book she’s published in 50 years.